3 year olds

I hope I can shift even a step closer to how the mind of a 3 year old works.

Spending a few days with little children brought me a smile. Watching a child is like watching a movie that makes you travel back to the prehistoric age – an age of no triple meanings, no beating about the bush, and no complications. Okay, with a few exceptions of how to hunt, cook a meal, or get from A to B! ;)

I watched my little niece and my little nephew cry when they wanted milk. Both of them giggled when I tickled them, and got angry when mommy went away. And it took them seconds to move from any one state to the other, there were no grudges carried over. It was as simple as that – the life of a minimalist, the life of a simpleton.

The troubles of the world, inner or outer, didn’t worry them. The religions, political inclinations, and borders didn’t keep them awake at night or yelling with their throats. Minimal requirements with maximum output.

median, average, or standard deviation

I smile when I see Tom & Jerry but can’t hide away my frown when someone denies me dark chocolate & raspberry truffle; I cry once a month but my own sense of humor usually cracks me up; I fear the unknown and at the same time, the unknown gets me excited; In one moment, I’m ready to take Karma into my own hands, and the very next moment, I see the advantage of the original problem. We each go through a multitude of moods & states of mind but we always find our way back to normalcy, back to the roots – a perfect analogy would be traveling to different countries and coming back home each time – lying down on your bed, driving your own car, and cleaning your own filth. The roots are what define us with little distractions every now & then.

Although, I do wonder what my roots are… what exactly defines me. Is it what I think of myself or is it dependent on others’ perceptions? If I survey 16 people about me, should I take a median, average, or perhaps a standard deviation?

Have you observed that every mirror in the world is different? Some make you look tiny, and some act like a camera – adding 10 pounds each time you look! There are 4 restrooms at my work and my confidence level could shift to 4 varying levels in a single day. Every mirror is different but what remains fixed is my weight, those stubborn inches, and how my jeans fit. Even the specific location for the camera pre-determines the result of a selfie – it’s after all, an exact science!

In the same manner, what others think of you is sometimes a reflection, a result of their roots. The water is colorless but the depth of the ocean, the purity level, and the ocean bed gives it its multiple shades of blue.

By the way, from all the bathrooms, my favorite is the one upstairs – it’s got dim yellow lighting… hides away everything – freckles, wrinkled clothes, extra tires, everything! •wink•

the ugly, the ugly, the ugly

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I have a confession. I confess that every time there is a story on yet another rape in India, I hide. I hide because it gives me chills. I hide because it brings me shame. I hide because it takes me to a place of immense anger, grinding teeth, and dry tears. It makes me go to a place where I want to pick up the same metal rod and stick it incessantly into each of those 6 criminals. Sitting thousands of miles away, I feel the angst of every individual who is protesting against this inhumane crime. We know about the burning alive of the Jordanian pilot by ISIS, about the undeletable holocaust in Germany, and the slaves of Dubai. These rapes, the cruel intentions, and the unfathomable activities are in no measure, any less.

Coming from a Quality background and with a mind that is trained to do a 5 WHY analysis, I have been searching for a root cause.

Is it the mentality that men are far more superior than women? If it is, then I don’t understand why a lot of goddesses are put up so high on a pedestal and worshipped! We are the country of many goddesses – Durga for power, Sarasvati for education, and Laxmi for prosperity but when you zoom in, we are the same country where many women are forced to get an abortion immediately after the ultrasound. The woman is impregnated again and again and yet again until a boy is born. Watch the movie ‘Bol’ and you will shake for a few hours.

May be what you see is what you become? On a conscious level, and even on a sub-conscious level, we learn from our surroundings and our surroundings start with our home. Home, where a little boy sees his father coming home drunk and beating up his mom. Home, where mother-in-laws join forces against a member of their own species. Home, where a large sum of dowry has to be delivered to marry off a girl. Sure, the law enforcement has prevented people from using the official word ‘dowry’ but the practice is very much active.

Is it perhaps the taboo? A boy & a girl can never be friends so keep them segregated, unacquainted, and un-united? Let the minds be curious and let the lust maximize?

Is it the education or lack thereof, because I just read that AP Singh, a well-educated lawyer involved in the case made a comment about setting his daughter on fire if she were to be engaged in pre-marital activities? This raises 2 questions in my mind – why wouldn’t the sons / brothers engaged in pre-marital activities be also set on fire? And, what is then the impact of education? With an outrage that followed the 2012 Nirbhaya rape case, a slight shift in the education system should be a public demand – classes on self-defense, classes on domestic violence, classes on women rights.

We carry the burden of being a part of a society where the practice of Sati was common, expected, and justified. We have traveled so far and we have a long journey ahead of us. I have heard the complaints, I have read the rants, and I have seen the outrage. It’s now time to become part of the same society to clean it up.

So what can we do? Not the ‘we’ that means the Indian government, Modi administration, and the Judiciary system; ‘We’ that consists of you & I. Here are some of my thoughts:

SELF-DEFENSE

Women should spend some time and take self-defense classes to learn striking & combat techniques that will help in self-protection. There are workshops available for the ‘DARE’ program – Defense Against Rape & Eve teasers. Free options are also widely available – just go to YouTube and type ‘self-defense for rape’ for free online videos.

http://www.kravmagaindia.in/

http://indianwomandefense.tripod.com/

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=self+defense+for+rape

PROTECTION

Don’t just leave the house in a hurry – think and think it all through. Carry a few self-protection items in your purse – pepper spray, Swiss knife, or perhaps a screwdriver.

http://www.chilliguard.com

http://www.healthkart.com

http://www.peppersprayindia.com/

STAY IN & STAY COVERED

It is unfair to ask women to stay in at night and sacrifice a bit of their freedom but unfortunately, at this time it would be a smart move. Stay in & stay safe. We have heard shorts are revealing, skirts are inviting, and jeans are basically just asking for it. Forgive me for I have no combinations of words for this particular one!

MORE MEN

Encourage your sons, brothers, and friends to be braver than the bravest they’ve ever been. We need more men on our side – men who respect women, men with integrity, and the non-psycho’s. We need the Indian Army to safeguard our borders, but we also need a massive army to safeguard women within the borders.

PUBLIC VOICES

Only a small percentage of my Facebook friends will read this blog. After an initial awe, be it awesome or awful, everyone would move on to the next article, to their next selfie. What we need is an influential voice. If you are popular in your network, use it to an advantage, for the superior good. I applaud Kalki Koechlin who was one of the first ones to voice a strong opinion on the subject. Javed Akhtar, Jaya Bachhan, and several others are now thankfully raising havoc as well. We need that!

The change is slow but the change is happening. It is happening with BBC’s ‘India’s Daughter,’ with an angry Kirron Kher, and with you reading this blog.

Not all is bad. There is also good in the mix. I read this article and it brought a smile on my face: There is a small village in Rajasthan where they plant 111 trees every time a girl is born.

http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-agriculture/village-india-plants-111-trees-every-time-baby-girl-born.html

For me, I don’t want to stop here. I am going to India and preparing to donate pepper sprays to 100 women. I will push my young nieces to get enrolled in the Krav Maga classes. I will educate my nephews on how to be real men. And I will not be shy in writing my opinion.

Photo courtesy: The Indian Express

don’t hate, meditate

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I truly wish that somehow & magically, this picture travels far & reaches at least a few people who are more focused on destruction than creation! I’m just a girl hoping for a more peaceful world. We are all one and nothing without the other so let’s stop hating. Let’s live in a world with plenty of food, water, trees, and oil for everyone. We no longer have Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, or Martin Luther King. It has to be you & it has to be me. We don’t have to go on a strike or take weapons into our own hands – if we can just spread smiles, laughter, equanimity, and the overall concept of ‘all being one and nothing without the other,’ that’d be a great start, don’t you think?

concrete jungle

Now don’t be jealous but the Yogi salve was recently on vacation to the concrete jungle where dreams are made of, where there’s nothing you can’t do. The words Alicia Keys sang were symbolic of how it felt – “These streets will make you feel brand new; big lights will inspire you!”

The Yogi salve at the Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge, with Mario & Elmo, and at Grimaldi’s.

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something handwritten

There are some who shy away, and some who want it hidden, but I throw a party each year when it’s time to grow another year older. It’s a golden opportunity to bring together everyone who adores you and everyone who you adore. It’s a chance to eat obnoxious amount of cake, and a free pass to bottles of Prosecco. And, if you are a little greedy as I am, you can even demand gifts!

I love everything about birthdays but my personal favorite is to run to the mailbox a week in advance and each day before the day in hopes of finding a familiar handwriting. If and when I find one, it brings a huge smile on my face along with a little girl’s excitement. These cards are precious and believe it or not, I still have birthday cards from more than 15 years ago.

But, with each birthday, the cards are diminishing, the wishes are wi-if style & no one even truly remembers. We have entered a slightly different time where we prefer a poke, message, FaceTime, whatsapp, or even sext. And when feeling groovy, we even pay someone to handwrite a message for the birthday boy/girl. Crazy!

Well, in this cold & distant time, we need the warmth. We need the care, the touch, and those smiles. So I have decided – I am going to fix this.

p.s. The latest card I received was a Happy New Year card all the way from Sydney. Thanks to Rupali Bhabhi & Guddu Bhaiya! It was a card that carried your smile & your warmth across the ocean.

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turn-on

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He grabs me suddenly and yanks me up against him, one hand at my back holding me to him and the other fisting in my hair.” – E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

Anastasia Steele is a simple girl and yet there is something about her that lures Christian in. The book says it’s her intelligence, her innocence, and her independence. I say there’s something in her skincare product that leaves her irresistible.

From Aphrodite to Avicenna, from Alexander to Cleopatra, and from Confucius to Christian Grey – each depended on the compelling aroma and healing benefits of a simple flower, Rose. Rose is the language of love and a hint towards pleasure. After the initial notes of Rose convince you to stay, Jasmine conquers as the Queen of the night. To this day, Rose and Jasmine blossoms decorate the bride and send a green signal for all that happens later. The mystical fragrance of Ylang Ylang pleases the senses and nurtures the sexual energies. Shatavari, notorious for its effect on long lasting love and lust, tries to unfold the mystery of Kama Sutra.

If there ever was a way to capture the essence of your desire for Mr. Grey, my Turn-on butter would be it. A promising aphrodisiac and a gift to women, a turn on is guaranteed!

Turn-On, my healing butter, pleases the senses, and nurtures the energies. 

yogi

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In today’s world of hustle and bustle, meditation apparently is the most efficient way towards Nirvana; at least that’s what everyone is saying. What no one tells me however, is exactly how to weed out the ever-growing thoughts from my brain, and how to quieten all that noise. If you lock me up in a room and dim the lights, you will witness the rush hour in my mind – appetizers for the party, do I look fat, job security, I need more shoes, flexible spending program, and annoying candy crush invitations.

Fear not, for I have found a way. The healing salve, believe it or not, does the magic. The enveloping aroma of lemongrass keeps my nose curious. I instantly become a little greedy and inhale all that there is. This greed relaxes my throat muscles and influences deep breathing. The fragrance, oh so synergized, brings a million dollar smile. And, in this mesmerization, I am able to detach myself from the appetizers, shoes, and the universe.

Lavender dissolves all fears. Lemongrass infuses positivity. Lemon energizes the mind.

Yogi, my healing salve, awakens the senses, but quietens the mind. 

don’t ever do this again, you moron!

Celebrations were in process and I was part of the food committee. Every ingredient was prepared and artistically laid out for the grand luncheon the next day, well all except one – cayenne pepper. It was 1:00am and peppers needed to be diced, sliced, or chopped. Someone had to do the dirty job and according to the looks from my mother, that someone was me!

Do yourself a favor and wear gloves, goggles, or borrow the costume from the movie ‘Gravity’ the next time you have to chop 20 cayenne peppers. My fingers, eyes, and tongue felt a sensation that has never been described before – the entire nervous system shook awake, gases exited from every hole, and I screamed with no voice coming out! Each signal to my brain carried a telegram – “Don’t ever do this again, you moron!”

According to the Gurus in the healing world, the same phenomenon actually helps with pain & inflammation. Cayenne pepper is extremely high in Capsaicin, which helps in reducing the amount of chemical that carries pain messages to the brain and hence, providing pain-relief.

Cayenne pepper with its powerful healing benefits is currently gaining buzz, and it sure is making its way into my next salve, the WOD wax!

what others say

WHY NATURAL?

“We know that we should eat organic food so we aren’t eating a bunch of pesticides and toxins with our food so why should we slather our skin with chemicals and toxins when it goes right into our bodies. The skin is our largest organ which is why it’s so important to make sure we are using the healthiest, most beneficial ingredients to keep us healthy.”

– Laura Primiano, Fitness Expert

CLEOPATRA’s SECRET

“Cleopatra, Queen of ancient Egypt, used milk to make her skin supple and glowing. Natural & handmade products are far better – they are more satisfying, enriching, and have minimal side-effects. When we prefer organic and fresh for what we take in, why not prefer organic and fresh for what we put on our skin.”

– Naina Rastogi, Fashion Entrepreneur

POWER of NATURAL MEDICINE

“I would use pure natural products simply because I try to rid myself of harmful chemicals. If I’m doing it on the inside by controlling my food why not do the same with my skin which is my very first contact with the world. My grandmother taught us the power of natural medicine and I still use it today. I trust simple ingredients and it gives me confidence in the fact, nature intended it for our use hence the natural occurrence.”

– Michelle Hydrick, Accounting Manager

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